Your Unit, Your Award

The AMSN PRISM Award®, is co-sponsored by the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) and the Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board (MSNCB).  PRISM stands for Premier Recognition In the Specialty of Med-surg. 

The AMSN PRISM Award provides special recognition to the exemplary practice of medical-surgical units.

Is Your Unit Exemplary?

The professional nurse is responsible for the individual practice, but it takes a dynamic, energetic, and committed group of professionals working as a team to achieve and sustain outstanding patient outcomes and high staff satisfaction.

Through this distinguished honor, AMSN and MSNCB identify and celebrate medical-surgical units that achieve sustained excellence through exhibiting:

  • Effective leadership
  • Recruitment and retention of competent staff members
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Positive patient outcomes
  • Healthy practice environment
  • Lifelong learning of unit staff members

How Does Your Unit Achieve the AMSN PRISM Award?

AMSN PRISM Award - (click to enlarge)Patient care units eligible to apply for the award include any individual acute care unit with a primarily adult and/or elderly patient population with medical-surgical diagnoses. These units may:

  • Admit and provide care for adolescent patients on a periodic basis in an "overflow" capacity.
  • Be a combined adult/pediatric unit that is classified by the facility as a medical-surgical unit.
  • Utilize remote telemetry monitoring, but may not be classified as step-down/progressive care units by their facilities.
  • Be from the same facility as long as each unit fits the description of a medical-surgical unit and applies individually.

Each unit must complete the application and submit payment. Units may apply for the award throughout the year as there are no deadlines.

Applications are blinded and peer reviewed by a team of medical-surgical nurses using the AMSN PRISM Award Scoring Tool. The structure of the scoring tool is built on the Eight Essential Attributes for a Healthy Work Environment (Kramer and Schmalenberg). Any applicant that receives 520 points or higher out of 600 points will receive the award.

Important Information Regarding the AMSN PRISM Award Application and Scoring Tool

During the process of reviewing submitted applications, the AMSN PRISM Award Task Force noted ways to improve the application and scoring tool. The application and scoring tool have been revised effective September 2019. These revisions clarify the original questions and give additional opportunity for the unit to tell their story. The new scoring tool improves the review process and provides applicants an easier to use guideline. We hope this will be helpful to you!

Download the AMSN PRISM Award Application PDF or DOC. Application Fee: $500.

Learn more about writing a successful application and the review process in the Application Toolkit. Included is a free Convention Session in the AMSN Online Library: Nuts and Bolts of the Application Process. (You will be prompted to log in first to view this session. If you don't have an account, you can set up a free account right there.)

How will your unit be recognized for this achievement?

The AMSN PRISM Award is valid for 3 years with reapplication possible. The medical-surgical unit that earns this award will receive an elegantly framed plaque that will be presented by a member of the AMSN or MSNCB Boards of Directors or their designated representative at the hospital of the unit.

Recipient units also receive permission to announce their achievement and use the AMSN PRISM Award Recipient Seal in local and national advertising and publications, and other promotional vehicles (banners, unit scrubs, etc.), per provided guidelines. 

AMSN will announce your unit's award on the AMSN Website, on AMSN social media, in MedSurg Nursing Connection, the AMSN enews, in MEDSURG NURSING, the AMSN journal and at the AMSN annual convention. We are pleased to use your photos and videos of your recognition celebrations.